The Latest: Warriors’ Iguodala voted MVP of NBA Finals
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Latest from Game 6 of the NBA Finals (all times local):
Golden State’s Andre Iguodala has been voted NBA Finals MVP.
Iguodala didn’t start a game all season until Steve Kerr inserted him into the lineup in Game 4 after the Warriors trailed 2-1.
Iguodala defended LeBron James most often and delivered plenty of offense of his own, scoring 25 points in the clincher.
Cavaliers fans booed, believing James should have won even in a losing effort.
The Golden State Warriors have won their first NBA championship since 1975, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-97 in Game 6.
Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala each had 25 points for the Warriors, who won the final three games after Cleveland had taken a 2-1 lead.
The Warriors overcame LeBron James’ best efforts in the series and followed their 67-win regular season with a title after none of their players had any previous NBA Finals experience entering the series.
Steve Kerr is the first rookie coach to win the title since Pat Riley with the Lakers in 1982.
James finished with 32 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists, falling just shy of what would have been a record third triple-double in the series.
Klay Thompson has fouled out, though the Golden State Warriors have so much depth they can replace him.
The All-Star guard had a quiet Game 6, finishing with just five points on 2-of-7 shooting. He went to the bench when he picked up his sixth with 4:16 to play on an offensive foul.
But Shaun Livingston was already in double figures off the bench by that time and fellow reserve Leandro Barbosa had given the Warriors good minutes, providing coveted support to their stars that the short-handed Cavaliers just couldn’t give LeBron James.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are trying to come back and the MVP won’t let them.
Stephen Curry has delivered two timely 3-pointers to keep Cleveland from building momentum as it tries to force a Game 7.
Both shots pushed Golden State’s lead back into double digits after the Cavs had clawed within single digits. The first was particularly painful for Cavs fans, who had been roaring during a timeout after LeBron James’ dunk cut the lead to 75-68.
And when Klay Thompson followed the second 3 with one of his own, Golden State was back ahead by 89-75 with under 7 minutes to go.
Cavs coach David Blatt set the stage for what it will take for his team to make an amazing comeback and force a Game 7.
He tells ABC’s Doris Burke they need to “play a great quarter on defense, make our free throws and hope our shots go down.”
LeBron James has another impressive stat line with 24 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. But he hasn’t been quite the force of nature he was in the first five games. Maybe all those minutes are finally taking their toll.
When asked what they’ll get from James over the final 12 minutes, Blatt said, “We’ll get his best.”
Cleveland went on 7-0 run to cut the Warriors’ lead to 75-68, capped by a James’ dunk.
Time for the fourth quarter, the one that has belonged to the Warriors in this series.
And unless Cleveland flips that script in a big way, its season is over.
Golden State has a 73-61 lead, forcing the Cavs to do what the Warriors have done in the last few games.
Golden State nearly rallied to win Game 3 after outscoring the Cavaliers by 12 in the final 12 minutes. The Warriors then had a 15-point advantage in Game 4 and a seven-point advantage in Game 5.
The Warriors delivered their big push in the quarter earlier, and are 12 minutes from their first title since 1975.
Cavaliers coach David Blatt can sense the Warriors seizing control.
In the last timeout, all Blatt was prodding and urging his worn-out team to make one last run.
Blatt kept saying, “There’s a lot of game left. Don’t put your heads down.”
It doesn’t feel like there’s a lot of game left.
The Warriors are 57-0 this season when leading by at least 15 points at any point of a game.
A 16-4 run has Golden State in great shape as it eyes the NBA title.
The third-quarter blitz took the Warriors from two points behind to ahead 61-51 on Andre Iguodala’s dunk with a little more than 5 minutes left.
Golden State later pushed the lead to 69-55, its largest of the game, after Festus Ezeli slammed down a missed 3-pointer by Stephen Curry while getting fouled.
It took them falling behind, but the Warriors have finally started playing as they did in the first quarter.
Golden State has responded quickly after Cleveland took the lead by scoring nine straight points, and was back up by double digits with 5:11 remaining in the third quarter.
The Warriors got the game at a fast pace in the first quarter and led 28-15, but Cleveland slowed things down in dominating the second, then got the first two baskets of the third to take a 47-45 edge.
Golden State then got 3-pointers from Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green in its big run.
The Warriors are getting plenty of help from the Cavaliers, who have committed 17 turnovers that have led to 25 points.
Cavaliers coach David Blatt decided to stick with Timofey Mozgov in Game 6 and it’s paying off for Cleveland.
When Mozgov made the first basket of the second half, Cleveland had come all the way back to tie it at 45. Tristan Thompson followed with a basket to put the Cavaliers in the lead.
Mozgov was up to nine points after going scoreless in Game 5, when Blatt played him just 9 minutes to counter Golden State’s small lineup.
He’s thinking bigger is better in Game 6.
But the smaller Warriors responded with a 7-0 run to regain control.
Matthew Dellavedova was the darling of the finals in the first three games, stepping in for the injured Kyrie Irving and hounding Stephen Curry.
But he seems to have hit a wall over the past couple of games, and David Blatt only played him 13 minutes in the first half. Dellavedova was scoreless on 0-for-1 shooting.
Might be time for him to have another swig of coffee. He tried to cut back on it earlier in the series after being hospitalized with severe cramping.
Golden State is a half away from an NBA title, though the Cavaliers have to feel good about where they are after a rough start.
The Cavaliers cut the Warriors’ lead to 45-43 at halftime, turning around the game after they trailed by 13 following one quarter.
LeBron James has 15 points after scoring 11 in the second quarter, and has become the sixth player to score 5,000 in his postseason career.
Cleveland has outrebounded Golden State 29-16 and has shot 21 free throws compared to just four for the Warriors. Cleveland would be in the lead if not for its relatively poor 13 of 21 mark.
Stephen Curry has 11 points for the Warriors.
An early charging call against LeBron James brought some loud boos. So did a couple of other whistles against the Cavaliers.
It sounded like fourth-quarter anger toward the officials coming out in the first quarter.
Scott Foster has heard them before. Foster is the lead official for Game 6, his 13th game of this postseason. The road teams have gone 11-1, according to Basketball Reference.com.
The Warriors are up 23-15 with about a minute left in the first quarter.
LeBron James had a simple message for his Cavaliers before Game 6. As his teammates gathered around him, the man who carried him there tried to capture the desperation they needed to have.
James hollered at them, “There ain’t no tomorrow! It’s just right now!”
James told the Cavs to worry about tomorrow if they get there. Trailing 3-2 in the series, they need a win to force a Game 7.
Kevin Love is already working toward next season.
As the Cavaliers are attempting to prolong their postseason run without him, the former All-Star forward ducked into the weight room inside Quicken Loans Arena for a workout. Love recently underwent surgery on his left shoulder, which was yanked from the socket in the first round by Boston’s Kelly Olynyk.
Love has said he intends to exercise his player option and remain with the Cavs, who traded No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett for him last summer.
Only one trophy matters to LeBron James.
After posting historic statistics through the first five games of the NBA Finals, there is a growing sense that James could be named the series MVP even if the Cavaliers don’t beat Golden State for the championship. Jerry West is the only player to win MVP honors in the finals with a losing team, doing it with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1969.
James wouldn’t feel good about the personal accomplishment, saying “I’m here to win a team prize, and that’s to win a championship, not to win an individual prize.”
He entered Game 6 averaging 36.6 points, 12.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists in the series — the best numbers ever posted in the game’s biggest event.
A four-time MVP during the regular season, James was named the finals MVP in 2012 and 2013 with Miami.
AP Sports Writer Tom Withers and AP Basketball Writer Jon Krawczynski contributed to this report